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7 months ago

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Introducing the Digital Culture Awards Winners!

Arts Council England and the Digital Culture Network are delighted to share the winners of the first annual Digital Culture Awards, celebrating digital innovation in arts and culture.

The Awards, held on 20 January 2022, received more than 400 entries from 279 arts organisations from all disciplines, and celebrates the creativity, resilience and digital innovation of the arts and cultural sector. The winners have each shown themselves to be trailblazers in the digital space, creating and sharing content which engages new audiences, increases organisational revenue, using data to improve audience insights, or showcasing best practice in digital leadership.

The submitted projects included incredible diversity in content; from virtual field trips for school children, to digital plays by female playwrights and the first ever global forest sounds map. A number of projects experimented with new ways to connect with audiences, such as museums who used TikTok and Twitter to open up access to their collections and begin conversations, a digital murder mystery, and a location based digital tour for mobiles. Many explored ways to reach and engage isolated or typically excluded audiences; from a new learning disability digital inclusion network, and a project to address human rights through augmented audio and game design, to the transformation of a library to a meet the digital needs of its users, digital fundraising from a series of online opera workshops and a data analysis project to address inclusion barriers for new music composers.

‘The last few years have been challenging, and due to these challenges posed by the pandemic we’ve all had to adapt the way we work, learn and socialise, including how we consume culture.

We received hundreds of submissions and thousands of votes in this year’s Digital Culture Awards, demonstrating the need to acknowledge and celebrate the creativity of our sector. Arts and cultural organisations across the country have innovated how they connect and engage audiences in-person and online, whilst also embracing digital to adapt their ways of working and find new ways of generating income.

We were delighted to see the sheer number of brilliant projects submitted, showing the incredible diversity of talent across the country’s cultural organisations, especially when so many organisations threw themselves into creating art, content and communities using digital technology they had never considered before the pandemic struck. The breadth, depth and number of projects submitted show how creativity and digital innovation so beautifully marry.’

Tiina Hill, Senior Manager, Digital Culture Network

‘It’s really important to tell inspiring stories and recognise and praise innovation. It requires a lot of courage, strength and resilience to be a changemaker. This is why I salute all the changemakers who have had to fight not just for themselves but for the many others who rely on them. These organisations and many like them used the crisis to transform their organisations, making difficult and courageous decisions every day. A huge congratulations from me to all the winners: I applaud you all. Change isn’t always easy as we at the MOBO organisation know all too well. ‘

Kanya King CBE, CEO and Founder of MOBO Awards

The full list of winners is as follows and you can find out more at digitalculturenetwork.org.uk/winners.

Digital Culture Award Winners

Being Social

Black Country Living Museum for ‘Engaging new audiences with creative video and social content’

 

Content Creation & Distribution

The Old Vic for ‘OLD VIC: IN CAMERA’

 

Content Creation & DistributionSpecial commendation for the impact of their distribution strategy

Open Clasp Theatre Company for ‘Changing the World One Play at a Time’

 

Data Driven

Sound and Music for ‘Using data to understand barriers to, and create opportunities for, new music’

 

Digital Trailblazer

National Student Drama Festival for ‘NSDF went online and welcomed in the world’

 

Emerging Digital Leader

Michael Hardy – Barnsley Museums, Digital Engagement Curator

 

Income Generation

Opera North for ‘From Couch To Chorus’

 

Digital Storytelling

Chinese Arts Now and Two Temple Place for ‘Digital Exhibition and Immersive Performance’

 

Digital Inclusion

Open Sky Theatre for ‘Microplays’

 

Winners WinnerChosen by Kanya King CBE, for putting inclusion at the heart of their digital transformation

Open Sky Theatre for ‘Microplays’

What next?

The Digital Culture Network is here to support you and your organisation. Our Tech Champions can provide free 1-2-1 support to all arts and cultural organisations who are in receipt of, or eligible for, Arts Council England funding. If you need help or would like to chat with us about any of the advice we’ve covered above, please get in touch. Sign up to our newsletter below and follow us on Twitter @ace_dcn for the latest updates.

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